The Boys is a creator-owned comic book series, written by Garth Ennis and illustrated by Darick Robertson. The first six issues were published by Wildstorm, but after concerns about the content of the book Wildstorm decided to cease publishing The Boys, which then moved to DYNAMITE ENTERTAINMENT.
The series is set in a contemporary world very much like our own, with one notable exception: There are many people out there who have some form of superpower. The series follows a superpowered CIA squad, known as the Boys, whose job it is to keep watch on superheroes and, if necessary, intimidate or kill them. Ennis has said that the series will "out-Preacher Preacher" , presumably referring to the extreme violence and sexuality that were that series's hallmark. He has also stated that he expects the series to last for approximately 60 issues.
On January 24, 2007, the series was abruptly canceled with issue #6. Ennis later explained that this was because DC were uneasy with the anti-superhero tone of the work. The collection of said issues was also canceled. However, Robertson has said "DC is being good about reverting our rights so we can find a new publisher and we're in the process of doing that now". Ennis has released a statement saying he has had a lot of interest from a couple of publishers so issue #7 and a trade of the first six issues should be available "in a matter of a few months". Also while Darick Robertson is currently on exclusive contract to DC he will get special dispensation to continue working on The Boys.
As of February 7, 2007, the series has been picked up by DYNAMITE ENTERTAINMENT. It will resume in June of 2007.
Billy Butcher. He led the original Boys, though they were disbanded for as-yet-unstated reasons. At the beginning of the series, he is planning to reassemble the old team, but with a new member to replace Mallory. He is physically large and incredibly violent, and, like all of The Boys, possess super strength. Connections between him and an as of yet unnamed hero referred to as "the Legend" (who will appear in issue #7) have been mentioned. A bulldog named Terror is his constant companion. The cause of his campaign against superheroes stems from the rape and death of his wife, Becky. Butcher woke up to find his wife disemboweled on their bed, with her prematurely born, superpowered child crawling out of her. After it attacked Butcher, he killed it by beating it to death with a lampstand. After reading Becky's diary he learnt the identity of his wife's rapist, who is described as "one of the big boys".
Hugh Campbell. A Scotsman, nicknamed "Wee Hughie". His girlfriend was accidentally killed by a superhero named 'A-Train' who was travelling faster than the speed of sound. Butcher recruits him for the Boys, and to that end, injects him with Compound V, without Hughie's permission. He intentionally resembles the British actor and writer Simon Pegg. During the fight with Teenage Kix he gutted Blarney Cock with one punch. He is now the keeper of Blarney's hamster.
Mother's Milk. Large African-American man. First appears in issue 2. One of the original Boys, he quit to perform community work and raise his dysfunctional daughter, whose mother was incapable of raising her due to her rampant drug abuse. He has now returned to the team, where he acts as Butcher's second in command.
The Frenchman. First seen in issue #2, he is one of the original Boys, and displays a penchant for extreme violence within a few frames of his first appearance. He takes an immediate like to "Petit Hughie".
The Female of the Species. One of the original Boys. First appearance is issue #2. She is known for her brutality and is mute. When not working for the Boys, she freelances for the Mafia. Her nickname is derived from the Rudyard Kipling poem of the same name. Her appearance is similar to Yelena Rossini from Darick Robertson's previous long-running series Transmetropolitan. She is in the habit of "explosively eviscerating" her victims and it is implied in issue three that she may be triggered to do so merely by someone touching her, possibly as a result of past trauma.
Mallory. Not yet seen, he is one of the original Boys. He researches the heroes for weaknesses, though he will not be returning to the team, as his involvement the first time got his grandchildren murdered.
Kessler. A nebbish businessman whom Butcher uses to acquire information. The Boys refer to him as "Monkey".
Susan L. Rayner. Director of the CIA. She despises Butcher but knows that she needs him. She is sexually involved with him, even though she loudly professes her hatred of him during their encounters.
"Dakota Bob". President of the United States and responsible for signing off on an order for the CIA to monitor all superheroes - an order that ultimately results in the reformation of The Boys. Has a hatred of superheroes due to the threat they pose to the world. His position is further threatened by the fact that the vice president (Vic the Veep) is supported by pro-superhero businesses and should Vic the Veep take over as President, superheroes would have a free run.
It should be noted that the superheroes in The Boys give only lip service to the personal or societal codes of morals and ethics adhered to by superheroes such as Superman or Batman. With a few exceptions, they are soon shown to be egocentric, arrogant, manipulative, irresponsible and frequently bordering on what some might consider evil or immoral, with mere mortals and even lesser superheroes being "as flies to wanton boys" before them. As a result, the supposedly anti-authoritarian, conspiracy-theorist behaviour of the Boys and their newest recruit is gradually perceived by the reader in a very different light.
The Seven are the world's premier superhero team. Underneath their Image, the group bicker about popularity, and early on, three members coerce Starlight into giving them oral sex. They are all heavily concerned about merchandising rights. Many critics have drawn comparisons between The Seven and the Justice League. As with the League, the Seven have three core members, referred to as the "Big Three". The members of The Seven (excepting, possibly, Starlight) have each shown traits in common with Justice League members.
The Homelander. Real Name John. Leader of The Seven. Sexual predator. Powers include heat vision, which he uses to keep the junior members in line. His Powers, abilities, costume and position in the team have similarities to those of Superman. His name evokes Superman's slogan "truth, justice and the American way". His shoulder ornament of his costume also evokes a nod to Ennis' earlier work with the character Judge Dredd.
Black Noir. One of The Seven; Powers unknown. Sexual predator. Like Batman, he is a core member of the team.
Queen Maeve, Empress of the Otherworld. A member of the Big Three, she has a costume similar to Wonder Woman. Powers Unknown. Is described as unconcerned by world affairs "as long as she's got enough gin inside her"
A-Train. A speedster whose carelessness was responsible for the death of Wee Hughie's girlfriend in the first issue. Sexual predator. Was formerly a member of the Teenage Kix. His abilities are similar to those of The Flash.
The Deep. One of The Seven; Powers unknown. Like Aquaman, his Powers are assumed to be related to the ocean.
Jack from Jupiter. One of The Seven; Powers unknown. His name resembles Martian Manhunter.
Starlight. Real name Annie January; the newest member of The Seven and a conservative Christian. On joining, was shocked to discover the true nature of the other members of the 7. On her first trip to the Seven's flying base, the Homelander gave her the choice of providing him with oral sex or leaving the group. At a subsequent meeting he also told her that 'the marketing people' had asked for her to wear a more revealing costume. Her characters purpose is to present an inside view for the readers on the Seven. Powers include flight.
The Lamplighter. A former member of the Seven, his current whereabouts are unknown. His name suggests similarities with Green Lantern. He has been replaced by Starlight. May have fallen afoul of Billy Butcher.
One of the two major teenage superhero teams, the Young Americans are clean-cut and patriotic; they have ties to the Young Republicans, Christian youth groups (including one known as Capes for Christ) and other conservative organizations. Starlight was previously a Young American.
Drummer Boy- The leader. Conservative Christian. Was/is involved in a non-sexual relationship with Starlight - they "wanted to wait".
The other major teenage group, Teenage Kix has a more rebellious, Generation X Image. Butcher is planning his first operation against them. The team frequently goes to prostitution houses to "celebrate" after a victory, but only one place accepts the group. The Boys spy on the group, gathering dirt on each of its members. Butcher sends them surveillance Images and a note telling them that he will expose one of them to the media if they do not choose their own sacrifice victim. They decide that Shout Out will out himself, on the grounds that nobody will publicly criticize a black homosexual and that his loss will hurt the team the least. In issue #6 the group is left wounded and bloodied with one member dead. The fight was blamed on "time terrorists". The Kix are an amalgam of several teenage superhero teams.
Big Game. The leader of the group. Bisexual. Has sex with Shout Out and DogKnott.
DogKnott. Canine appearance.
PopClaw. Retractable claws. Practices self mutilation by cutting herself with her blades. Similar to X-23.
Blarney Cock. Irish and extremely racist. Along with his best friend Whack Job, he stole painkillers from a children's hospital. In issue six he was accidentally killed by Wee Hughie, after which it was discovered that he had a hamster taped up and kept in the back of his pants. He was given a hero's funeral.
Whack Job. Mohawk-wearing member.
Gunpowder. He brings in invaluable NRA sponsorship. Looks similar to Judge Dredd.
Shout Out. African-American and homosexual. Due to the Boys, he resigns from the team after announcing his homosexuality, but he does show up to fight the Boys after Homelander reveals the perpetrators. During the fight, he has both of his thumbs ripped off by Butcher. Although his name may suggest vocal Powers similar to Banshee, Shout Out has only demonstrated electrical abilities.
Tek Knight. Name suggests a mirror of Ted Knight, the original Starman. However artwork suggests that he is more along the lines of Iron Man.
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